Project OMG: A busy day!

I awoke this morning in (slightly) snowy Wiltshire. The Omega clattered surprisingly quietly into life, thanks were passed on to very wonderful friends, and I set off for Bristol and the only diesel specialist I could find that was open on a Saturday.

A snowy start to the day.

A snowy start to the day.

I arrived there just before they were due to open, but my haste was not rewarded. The man’s computer said the seal that was probably at fault was tricky to repair, as you can very easily destroy the metering settings. I wasn’t convinced he was looking at the right bit, but he showed no desire to actually go and look at the car, preferring to point at a diagram on his computer. He did admit that they didn’t have the seal in stock, which is a bit annoying given we’d phone the place yesterday, and they said they had both types, albeit only available as part of a kit. Oh well. I’d saved myself £45 at least.

I was a bit stumped at this point. If I couldn’t get a seal, how was I going to stop the leak? There seemed only one answer, and it called for desperate measures. Yes reader, I went to Halfords for bodgery supplies. Not that this went smoothly. Having located a Halfords and entered the details into the sat nav, the Omega refused to come out of Park. There’s a safety lock so it’ll only release if you press the brake pedal. I was pressing the brake pedal! It still did not release. Google came to the rescue though, revealing that if you lift the trim off the selector, there’s a yellow override button you an press. Phew! That was good, because I was all set to just abandon the sodding thing at this point, double yellows or no.

Press the yellow switch! Phew.

Press the yellow switch! Phew.

There we go then. Got moving, thank goodness. Off to Halfords I toddled, failing to get any photos it would seem, other than this rather flimsy photo of the leaky pump.

The culprit. Buried under an inlet manifold.

The culprit. Buried under an inlet manifold.

That’s after I gave it a good degrease. You see, I think the bloke I spoke to earlier was wrong. I think he was on about the gasket at the base of the piece you can see (not quite in shot). The leak is from the lid, just below those bolt heads. I bought some magic tape that is said to seal anything, but access was too poor to use it. Also, that anti-tamper screw housing on the corner rendered it hopeless. I needed tension all the way around. I couldn’t see any magic potions that look like they would work, so I decided to use aluminium tape. I’d bought a roll to ‘fix’ the exhaust, which it did very nicely. Could it seal a pump?

Well, no, not really. I could see diesel was just starting to seep out. However, that was better than dribbling out, so I decided to chance my arm. I went back to the MOT centre, explained my new ‘stuck in Park’ bodge, and tried not to look too nervous. He checked the spring, ticked it off. He checked the exhaust, ticked it off. He lowered the car, opened the bonnet, looked a bit confused, then called his mate over. Oh dear. I didn’t like the look of this. However, his mate remembered the car coming in yesterday and peeing diesel all over the place. Now it wasn’t dropping any, I got my pass!

Petrol station shot. Time to go home!

Petrol station shot. Time to go home!

After putting fuel in, I grabbed a rather sorry-looking pair of pants and wrapped them around the pump to try and absorb any further fuel. I could finally point the nose of my new car towards Wales!

Alarmingly, the car seemed to lose power as we accelerated up the slip road to the M32. My foot was flat to the floor, but it wouldn’t go any faster than 50mph. This did at least upset the driver of a BMW X6, so it wasn’t all bad, but was rather worrying. Eventually, it got up to 70, and then proceeded to feel quite normal for many miles. In Hereford, it again felt lacking in power, unable to accelerate beyond 30mph. What new evil is this? Coming off the throttle and reapplying, it accelerated again. It was then fine for the remainder of the trip home. I guess fresh fluids and filters would probably be a good idea. Maybe that’s the issue. Algae can develop in diesel if it’s left too long. I hope the tank isn’t full of gloop…

I’d love to say that was the only problem, but as we entered Wales, an alarming relay click suddenly went off. Very loudly. Repeatedly. It did this every time I went over a bump, or cornered too quickly. Ugh. I’d rather lost my enthusiasm at this point, so just pushed on for home.

Home! The Great Western adventure is over.

Home! The Great Western adventure is over.

However, I’m back. The car can now sit on the driveway while I work out what to do with it, and I can crack on with actually trying to get it into my name (the owner still hasn’t found the V5…). It doesn’t feel like love at the moment. It feels a bit too ‘hard’ for my liking. I don’t like the seats. Or the controls. I do like the lusty growls that emit from under the bonnet, and the gearbox seems pretty well behaved too. So, we’ll see. Place bets now for how long this one will stick around!

What do you reckon?

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